Tropar - Tone 4
With thy virtues, as with the rays of the sun, thou didst enlighten the unbelieving philosophers; and like the most radiant moon shining on those who walk at night, thou didst drive away the darkness of unbelief. Thou didst bring the empress to faith and didst denounce the tyrant, O divinely elect bride. O blessed Catherine, with desire thou didst make haste to the heavenly bridal chamber, to Christ the most comely Bridegroom, and by Him has thou been crowned with a royal crown. Standing with the angels before Him, do thou pray for us who keep thy most honored memory.
Kondak - Tone 2
O ye who love the martyrs, raise up an honored chorus in godly manner; honoring the most wise Catherine; for in the arena she preached Christ and trod upon the serpent, putting down the knowledge of the rhetors.
We are currently celebrating with Fr. Igor and the faithful of
We would like to thank Fr. Igor and the St. Andrew's community for their gracious hospitality.
We have com to the 4th Sunday of the fast on which we commemorate our father among the saints John of the Ladder. Why the Ladder? Because he is the author the the classic work the Ladder of Divine Ascent, which is read by most monastics and some payment every year during the fast. In it St. John describes thirty stages of spiritual development, which he likens to thirty steps upward on a ladder. It is not an easy read and must be read slowly and prayerfully. It is readily available from most Orthodox booksellers.
As you see below the schedule is greatly abbreviated. What we think about this is of little value. In the spiritual life we are to deny our own will and submit to the will of God (in this case as expressed through our superiors). Also, the longest chapter in the Ladder, if I remember correctly, is on obedience. These two are intimately connected.
If for no other reason, the inability to attend the divine services should bring us to tears. Perhaps this is God’s way of revealing to us just how spiritually impoverished we truly are. Let us weep over our own sinfulness. Let us weep over the sinfulness of our city, state, country - of the entire world. The wages of sin is death says St Paul. Plagues and similar trials and tribulations are the precursors of death, the result of sin, which we brought into the world, not God. Yet He is using it to wake us up from slumber, forgetfulness (for if we did not forget God we would never sin) and despondency. This is a divine call to repentance, renewal and healing.
The great tragedy is not be able to attend the Liturgy. The other services can be read at home. But the Bloodless Sacrifice, the Liturgy - which means work of the people - must be done in community. This is the crux of our faith.
What are we to do? Pray our prayers. Read the Scriptures, especially the Holy Gospel and Psalms, the Lives of the Saints, as well as the writings of the Saints, such as the Ladder. Fast. Help out whenever the opportunity presents itself. Remember God constantly.
I know that it is much easier said than done. Christian life is a life in community, one Body of Christ. The hermits are the exception. But the Orthodox Christian life is a struggle, especially during the great fast. This is the obedience we must offer at this time.
You can find most if not all the services in English here if you know how to read them. If not, and you’d like to, just ask.
The Great Canon can be found here:
The Akathist Hymn can be found here:
I suggest listening to the “Names of Jesus”, which can be found here: Start at the end. It is the first episode.
You can listen to the life of St. Mary of Egypt here:
Please feel free to contact me at any time for any reason.
Please come and spread the word of our Liturgies in English. But mostly pray. Pray for our mission, our community and country. Our prayers are not insignificant and greatly needed.
Only 10 people may be simultaneously present at any given Service, including the Clergy and Choir. During the Service, individuals must maintain a distance of 6 feet from other persons.
Also, when attendance is greatly reduced, especially during Lent, a church can really feel it. Please support St Andrew’s prayerfully and monetarily.
Sunday, March 29 - The Fourth Sunday of the Fast - of St. John of the Ladder. Divine Liturgy at 10am.
Wednesday, April 1 - Hours and Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at 8 am.
Friday, April 3 - Second Vigil. Akathist Hymn at 5pm.
Saturday, April 4 - Saturday of the Akathist. Divine Liturgy at 9am.
Sunday, April 5 - The Fifth Sunday of the Fast - of St. Mary of Egypt. Divine Liturgy at 10am.
Tuesday, April 7 - The Annunciation. Vesperal Liturgy at 9 am.
Wednesday, April 8 - Hours and Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts at 8 am.
Saturday, April 11 - Lazarus Saturday. Divine Liturgy at 9am. Vigil at 5pm.
Sunday, April 12 - Palm Sunday. Divine Liturgy at 10am.
If you live in the greater Tampa Bay area and are interested in Orthodoxy or would like to help in establishing a traditional Orthodox parish in English please call 727-239-9186 and leave a message or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd love to hear from you!
The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant. It is Orthodox (meaning 'right belief') but not Jewish. It is catholic (meaning universal) but not Roman. It is not non-denominational, it is pre-denominational. It has been believed, taught, preserved, defended, and died for since its institution in 33 AD at the Feast of Pentecost. It is the Faith that has established the universe...
Fr. Stephen Zaremba
We are convinced that many today earnestly seek the ancient Christian Faith. It does not need to be rediscovered or reinvented. It is here -now. Always has been, always will be. It is our conviction that there are many who seek the true Life, the true Light, who seek to receive the heavenly Spirit, to worship the undivided Trinity. They are unknowingly Orthodox in heart; they yearn for Orthodoxy yet do not know that it even exists.
The Orthodox Faith is what has been believed by everyone everywhere from the beginning. It is not a religion, it is a way of life, it is life in Christ. It is open to all.
Why the Russian Orthodox Church? Because the Russian Orthodox Church has a rich history of missionary work, spreading the Gospel of Christ throughout the world.
Several Russian Orthodox Saints worked to enlighten America with the Gospel of Christ, beginning in Alaska where a great multitude of native Alaskans were brought to Christ. Among them are St. Herman of Alaska, St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and Apostle to America, St. Innocent of Alaska and St. Jacob of Alaska (a native Alaskan). This was, of course, before the onslaught of godless communism, but has been rediscovered after the collapse of communism as churches are being renewed, rebuilt and new ones opened throughout Russia. Twenty- nine thousand churches have been opened in twenty-eight years. That’s one thousand a year or three a day. Despite what you see on tv or the internet, Russia is rediscovering it’s rich Christian heritage and once again becoming a Christian country, something which contrasts greatly with modern America, which is speedily forsaking and even renouncing it’s Christian heritage, just like Western Europe has done.
This rekindling of Russian Orthodox piety is resulting in the renewal of missionary ferver throughout the world.
Being the one Holy, Catholic (which means universal and should not be confused with being Roman) and Apostolic Church, the Orthodox Church has always sought to go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. And while the Orthodox Church is often associated with the ethnic communities who brought the Faith with them from their homelands, one does not need to be Russian, Greek, Serbian, Syrian or any other ethnicity. One only needs the desire to embrace the Gospel, to encounter Christ.
We are looking for persons/families who wish to learn to live the life in Christ and form an Orthodox Christian community in the
St. Petersburg, FL area. All services are celebrated in English. If you are interested, please contact Fr. Stephen at or call him at 727-239-9186.
As Philip once told Nathaniel: Come and see!
The following was a letter to the Roman Emperor Hadrian (d.138AD) from the Athenian Orator Aristides in which he depicts how the Early Christians lived. This is how Christianity conquered the world. This is how it will do so again...
“The Christians know and trust God…They placate those who oppress them and make them their friends; they do good to their enemies. Their wives are absolutely pure, and their daughters modest. Their men abstain from unlawful marriage and are free from all impurity: If any of them have bondwomen or children, they persuade them to become Christians for the love they have toward them; and when they become so, they call them without distinction brothers…They love one another: They do not refuse to help the widows. They rescue the orphan from him who does him violence. He who has, gives ungrudgingly to him who has not. If they see a stranger; they take him to their dwellings and rejoice over him as over a real brother; for they do not call themselves brothers after the flesh, but after the Spirit and in God…If any one among them is poor and needy; and they do not have food to spare, they fast for two or three days, that they may supply him with necessary food. They scrupulously obey the commands of their Messiah. Every morning and every hour they thank and praise God for His loving-kindness toward them…Because of them there flows forth all the beauty that there is in the world. But the good deeds they do, they do not proclaim in the ears of the multitude, but they take care that no one shall perceive them. Thus they labor to become righteous…Truly, this is a new people and there is something divine in them.”